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External Hard Drives


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#1 nitflegal

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 1824 PM

Well, time to add an external for storage and back-up. Searching through CNet and other review sites it seems that there are some real lemons out there. Any recommendations for a good, reliable choice for my Vista PC?

Thanks,
Matt
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#2 Ssnake

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Posted 30 March 2008 - 1835 PM

How do you want to connect it to your PC - USB, firewire, Ethernet, ...?
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#3 RIPper

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Posted 31 March 2008 - 1145 AM

I've just bought an external 500GB WD My Book drive. I'm using it mostly for automatic backups (similar to Apple's Time Machine, but on Linux), so I don't care for the speed that much (USB is enough for me). I've got it just for a few days, but I like it so far. It turns itself off automatically when I shut down the computer (the drive has its own power supply, which is what I wanted), and it spins-down the drive when it's not in use for some time.....and it looks good ;)
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#4 Ken Estes

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 0021 AM

I have several xHD, so paranoid am I about crashes and other dilemmas of preserving data. The MyBooks rate well as economies, but I also have as the primary a nice ethernet unit in my home wireless link, such that PC and laptops have equal use of it, facilitates transfers, etc., as I am too lazy to configure a true LAN.
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#5 BP

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Posted 08 April 2008 - 0806 AM

I have several xHD, so paranoid am I about crashes and other dilemmas of preserving data. The MyBooks rate well as economies, but I also have as the primary a nice ethernet unit in my home wireless link, such that PC and laptops have equal use of it, facilitates transfers, etc., as I am too lazy to configure a true LAN.


You might want to think about offsite storage of that data Ken, as paranoid as you stated you are about crashes. Redundancy is good, but you still have all your data onsite and in relatively the same basket.

There are lots of good, cheap data vaulting options now for personal use, or even for a writer like yourself who has more files than the average bear.
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#6 TTK Ciar

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Posted 14 April 2008 - 0115 AM

Well, time to add an external for storage and back-up. Searching through CNet and other review sites it seems that there are some real lemons out there. Any recommendations for a good, reliable choice for my Vista PC?

Thanks,
Matt

As it happens, about a month ago my wife and I researched external drive enclosures and bought a couple that looked good. Of the two, the one I like best is the Rosewill RX81-MP-SC, as seen on NewEgg, here.

It supports SATA disks up to 1TB in size (works great with my 750GB, looking forward to trying it with a 1TB), sports a fairly quiet fan to keep your disk cool (which is important; cooking your disk will cut its lifetime in half) which you can turn off if you decide it's too noisy, and offers USB 2.0, Firewire, and eSATA external interfaces. All that for a low price. We recently ordered a second one so I can keep this one and my wife will have one too. I run Linux and she runs MacOSX, but the description on NewEgg claims Vista support as well.

For the disk to put inside it, I'm partial to the Hitachi Deskstar family. They're fairly low-power (which means low heat, which means longer lifespan) and very reliable. My runner-up choice would be a Seagate Barracuda 7200.10, which draws only slightly more power and is also highly reliable. Traditionally I've stayed away from Western Digital drives because they've had a high failure rate where I work (7000+ spindles spinning 24x7), but they just came out with a new line of low-power 1TB drives which might be worthwhile.

Here's a friend's really awesome graphs of disk power consumption vs time (starting with disk power on at t=0), measured on the 5V and 12V rails:
http://xymoc.com/~eric/drives/

And a couple of articles about factors in hard drive reliability:
http://www.digit-lif...agereliability/
http://www.hgst.com/...p/drivetemp.htm

-- TTK
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#7 Mike Steele

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 1327 PM

Well, time to add an external for storage and back-up. Searching through CNet and other review sites it seems that there are some real lemons out there. Any recommendations for a good, reliable choice for my Vista PC?

Thanks,
Matt

I have a D-link DNS323 enclosure, thats pretty good for a network drive. Its Raid capable and you can assign a IP address and pick your own SATA drives for capacity. I used 500s and have 480 space (rest is raid o/h) If you use a home router you can assign one by just turning on your routers features.OR you can just assign a IP through your servers. :D
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#8 Ivanhoe

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 2146 PM

I have a D-link DNS323 enclosure, thats pretty good for a network drive. Its Raid capable and you can assign a IP address and pick your own SATA drives for capacity. I used 500s and have 480 space (rest is raid o/h) If you use a home router you can assign one by just turning on your routers features.OR you can just assign a IP through your servers. :D


Bah, only has FTP support and not SSH. Nothing to keep the dog from sniffing Wi-Fi packets with his laptop and gaining access to your data.
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#9 Mike Steele

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 1231 PM

Bah, only has FTP support and not SSH. Nothing to keep the dog from sniffing Wi-Fi packets with his laptop and gaining access to your data.

If such a creature existed, I would be worried. I live in the country(2.5 acres)and it would be pretty hard to disguise a hacker location. You assume I have a wi-fi, I have all my stuff hard wired(1GB). The original question was, IIRC "whats a good external drive?" :lol:
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#10 DesertEagle

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Posted 29 April 2008 - 1534 PM

For the last few years I've had a pair of Maxtor external hard drives. They've both been reliable. I'm not using a raid configuration. All I do is copy the folders from my notebook onto both drives. Each has its own electrical plug. When the backup is done, they get unplugged. That's it.
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#11 Sandstig

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Posted 03 May 2008 - 1627 PM

I have a D-link DNS323 enclosure, thats pretty good for a network drive. Its Raid capable and you can assign a IP address and pick your own SATA drives for capacity. I used 500s and have 480 space (rest is raid o/h)

<snip>


Also have a DNS-323 using 2x 500GB (~456GiB) drives in RAID1 and was curious what you meant by RAID overhead? Are you referring to the remaining ~456GiB being used for mirroring or something else?

Ken, if you have a lot of data (>100GiB) you want to store off-site, you could look into Dreamhost or some other similar service.
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